Dispute Resolution

Importance of ADR in IP Disputes

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) are exclusive rights given to the creator over its creation for a specific time period. The infringement of IPR leads to IP disputes. IP disputes can be resolved through ADR, it can be opted by the parties either through mutual consent or court order. There are numerous advantages of ADR such as cost productivity, adaptability, party control, impartiality, a solitary technique, secrecy, and ability. In addition, IP disputes are increasing in the Indian scenario.  

ADR in Indian scenario

Indian Courts have taken steps to protect IP. Matters concerning patent and copyright law include convergence with science and innovation. This requires experts to examine and evaluate the interdisciplinary disputes. The restricted rights given to the proprietor of a protected IP need creating systems to execute quick decisions and quick remedies. Therefore, it becomes the most suitable method of settlement of IP disputes.

Though IP is a perplexing field of common law, the intricacy level associated with IP has improved. New topics have arisen in IP protection. Still, the conventional method of addressing IP issues still exists. Parties involved in IP disputes always prefer the traditional method of approaching the court. They tend to neglect the advantages ADR has to offer. It has provided more successful and productive remedies to the parties.

Due to the high stakes associated with IP disputes, parties raise issues on all fronts. Contrary to litigation, ADR urges parties to reach an amicable settlement. Approaching a court can be disadvantageous to a single party but ADR procedures favor both parties. Neither of the parties would be in a disadvantageous position by opting for ADR.

In Shree Vardhman Rie and Gen Mills v. Amar Singh Chawalwala, the Supreme Court held that trademark issues should be resolved by the Trial Court rather than by issuing an injunction. Issues identifying with brand names, copyright, and licenses the stipulation to Order XVII Rule 1(2) of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 must be carefully consented to by all the courts. In another case, the court observed that IP disputes have always been fought over grants of the injunction.

Advantages of ADR

ADR instruments are less tedious, formal and give adaptability to the IP holder. It is critical to take note that in all the business exchanges, it has played a dominant role over the conventional methods of prosecution. These days, contracts identified with the move of protected innovation generally incorporate the arbitration and mediation provision. It has numerous advantages as follows:

  • Secrecy

Confidentiality assumes a significant part and is of vital worry in IP cases including patents, trade secrets, and software programming, where the parties plan to keep such delicate data private and safeguarded. Procedures are highly confidential.

  • Time saving

ADR saves a great deal of time for both the Courts and the parties. There are various pending cases in the courts. This leads to delays in judgment. Thus, ADR is time-efficient.

  • Cost-efficient

ADR procedures are more flexible and cost-efficient. Indian courts have encouraged parties to settle disputes through ADR.

  • End result

Parties are in control of ADR. Mutual consent is a prerequisite for reaching a settlement. This allows the parties to come up with solutions or arrangements that will be beneficial for their businesses in the end.


An IPR has a limited lifespan, and if litigation is pursued the protection will lose its effectiveness. Such infringements should be settled by ADR as it decides the rights between two parties. To reiterate courts have time and again emphasized the use of ADR in IP disputes. Thus, ADR is a better dispute-solving mechanism for IP.

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by Sushree Swagatika

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